by Katie Micik, DTN Markets Editor
KANSAS CITY (DTN) — The Wheat Quality Council’s hard red winter wheat tour estimated Kansas’s average yield at 49.1 bushels per acre, putting production at 403.9 million bushels. That’s the tour’s highest average yield in the last decade.
The crop is about three weeks ahead of schedule and will be ready to harvest in 20 to 60 days.
“Personally, I think our number is a bit high but not way out of line in my opinion,” tour organizer Ben Handcock said. “We saw a lot of disease on day one. We saw a lot of bad flag leaves on wheat that had just headed out. That might limit the crop.”
Last year the tour estimated the crop at 256.7 mb and USDA pegged the final production at 276.5 mb. The tour estimated Kansas wheat yields at 37.4 bpa while USDA came in at 35 bpa.
The production estimate is an average of the tour’s 100 participants’ estimates while the average yield is calculated from the 608 stops scouts made in wheat fields.
Scouting began on Tuesday as participants drove west from Manhattan, Kan., to Colby, Kan. Scouts estimated the crop in that area would yield 53.6 bpa. Scouts drove south and east from Colby to Wichita on Wednesday, and pegged the crop yield at 43.7 bpa.
Tour participants sampled a smaller number of fields on Thursday as they traveled from Wichita to Kansas City before visiting the Kansas City Board of Trade. The third day’s estimated yield was 57.5 bpa.
Crop scouts said the wheat looked so good in east-central Kansas that it has the potential to add yield before harvest, which is estimated in three to four weeks.
While scouts saw a crop with above-average yield potential, it really needs a drink to get there. A fairly stark dividing line between areas that received adequate moisture and areas that didn’t get any appeared from Hoisington, Kan., south to Medicine Lodge, Kan.
The crops south and west of the dry line need a rain. Much of the wheat had started sloughing tillers and abandoning heads. The crop had enough rain to germinate, unlike last year, but has gone downhill quickly in the past week. Without a rain, its condition will continue to decline.
Stripe rust was a definite issue in central Kansas, partially because two of the state’s most popular wheat varieties showed some resistance in 2010 but was susceptible to it this year.
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Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp